Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak have completed the opening leg of Rally Turkey in style. The Polish crew maintained a very good pace on both Friday tests and hold second position in the WRC-3 standings! The LOTOS Rally Team crew set second-fastest stage times twice and their performance means that they are ahead of majority of the factory WRC-2 crews, in excellent 13th position in the overall standings!
The competition started with 13.90-kms long SS1 İçmeler. Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak in their Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo set the second best time on rocky road, losing 6.1 seconds to Bulacia Wilkinson/Der Ohannesian (Citroën C3 R5). The Polish crew defeated Johnston and Kihurani (Citroën C3 R5) by 4.9 seconds – unfortunately this crew retired from the rally during the next stage. The Polish duo set another second-fastest time on 11.32-kms SS2 Gökçe, finishing the day just over 12 seconds behind the leaders.
– The opening day of Rally Turkey is done and dusted. We caught this train and maintain the pace of the frontrunners, which bodes well ahead of the next leg. For sure we will push tomorrow, as the gap to the leaders is really small. However, we have to remember that this rally is tough for machinery, so the balance and experience gained last year will be crucial. On top of that we will experience hot conditions during the whole day – this is another challenge. Today there was some dust on the second stage, so the visibility was limited. We could not see many corners and obstacles on the road but our pace notes did their job and we reached the finish line with good result
– recaps Kajetan Kajetanowicz, the WRC-2 runner-up in 2019.
Saturday (19 September) marks the longest day of the rally – both in terms of time spent on the road and in terms of combined length of the stages. Two loops of three stages – each loop with total length of 107.38 competitive kilometres – are separated with a service break. The longest stage of the day – Yeşilbelde 1 (31.79 kms) – begins at 7:45 CET and it will be followed by Datça 1 (8.75 kms) and Kızlan 1 (13,15 kms). The second loop starts at 13:45 CET and it consists of Yeşilbelde 2 (31.79 kms), Datça 2 (8.75 kms) and Kızlan 2 (13.15 kms) stages.
On Sunday (20 September) the crews face two more special stages, each of them will be contested twice – with total length at 90.4 competitive kilometres. The longest test of the rally – Çetibeli 1 (38,15 km) – starts at 6:30 CET and afterwards the competitors tackle much shorter Marmaris 1 (7.05 kms) stage. Following a service break, the second loop begins at 10:10 with Çetibeli 2 (38.15 kms) and the event comes to an end with the Power Stage Marmaris 2 (7.05 kms).
Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak have eleven competitors in the WRC-3 category. The rally ends on Sunday, around 13:30 CET.
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz are supported by strategic partner of the LOTOS Rally Team – Grupa LOTOS – as well as Delphi Technologies, Driving Experience and Pirelli.
Rally Turkey 2020 – unofficial WRC-3 results after SS2:
1. Bulacia Wilkinson/Der Ohannesian (Bolivia/Argentina, Citroën C3 R5) 19:58.2
2. Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (Poland, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +12.4 s
3. Fernández/García (Chile/Argentina, Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +42.6 s
4. Heller/Mart (Chile/Spain, Ford Fiesta Rally2) +49.7 s
5. Avci/Vatansever (Turkey, Citroën C3 R5) +1:04.5 s
6. Cukurova/Akcay (Turkey, Škoda Fabia R5) +1:18.8 s
7. Soylu/Köleoğlu (Turkey, Škoda Fabia R5) +1:36.9 s
8. Solans/Barreiro (Spain, Ford Fiesta Rally2) +1:54.6 s
9. Pedro/Baldaccini (Italy, Ford Fiesta Rally2) +2:49.7 s
10. Johnston/Kihurani (USA, Citroën C3 R5) +10:11.0 s